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MYSTERIES


G62


MYSTERY


Mission Society of Paris in 177t'). which at that date iK'gan work at Poniiicherry. The i'elel)rute(i A1)1h'^ Dul)ois (I). 1705, d. 18-18), liiniself a niemter of the Fori'ign Missions, spent most of liis Hfe among the C'anarese Christians of Ganjain, Pallially, and Satt- hully (sec Dubois). Mysore was inchided in the Vicariate of the Coromandel Coast (Pondicherry), erected in lS3(i, but was sejianiteil in lS4o, and erected into a distinct vicariatc-ApostoIic in 1850, at the same time as the district of ('()ini1)atore. On the estalilishment of the hierarchy in I8SG it was made into a dioci'se sutTragan to Pondiclierry with the same bounilaries as now.

Succession- of Pkklates. — Vicars- Apostolic: Ste- phen Louis Charbonaux, 1850-73; Joseph Augustine Clu'valicr. 1874-18S0; Jean-Yves-Marie Coadou, 1880-90 (became first I)i.slu)p in 188G); second bishop, Eugene-Louis Kleiner, KSilO (alisent in lOurope since 1903); Augustine I'Vancis 15:isle. coadjutor with right of succession, 1906, now ruling the diocese.

Institutions. — St. Joseph's College, Bangalore, teaching up to F. A. Standard, with COO pupils; Ban- galore Convent School under the Nuns of the Good Shepherd, with 494 pupils; St. Patrick's School, Shoo- lay.witli l.">('i pupils: St. I'rancisXavier's School for girls, Cleveland Town, with 138 day-scholars; .St. Aloysius's Scliool, with 210 boys; native ecclesiastical seminary, with 2() stutlents; St. Louis' Boarding School, with 58 boarders; the Brothers of the Immaculate Conception, training school for teachers, with 1 European students; convent school at Mysore, under the Good Shepherd Nuns, with 185 pupils; .St. Joseph's School, Mysore, with 142 pupils; native Sisters of St. Anne, in charge of five nati\e girls' schools; native Nuns of the Immaculate Conception, girls' school at Settihally, also a dispen- sary; Majanma Thumbu Chctty School for caste girls, under the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarl)es, Bangalore, with 136 pupils. ChariUible Institulinns. — St. Pat- rick's Orphanage, Bangalore, with 100 inmates; St. Martha's public Hospital and Disjxnisary, Bangalore, in charge of the Good Shepherd Nuns, 70 ijeds; eye infirmary under the same; Little Sisters of the Poor, Bangalore, with 101 inmates; two orphanages at Bangalore and Mysore under the Good Shepherd Nuns with total of 263 inmates; also 2 Magdalene Asylums with 129 iiunates. Four agricultural farms for or- phans, round which Christian villages have been formed at four places in the diocese; several small orphanages in country parishes.

MuUnis Culholic Dirictory (1909); L\VN\Y. Hisloire Generate de ta Soriite ties Missions Etrangtres; Atlas des Missions.

Ernest R. Hull.

Mysteries, Pagan. See Paganism.

Mystery (Greek nvffT-nfuov, from /iieie, "to shut") "to close"). — This term signifies in general tiiat which is unknowable, or valuable knowledge that is kept secret. In pagan antiquity the word mys- tery was used to designate certain esoteric doctrines, such as Pythagoreanism, or certain ceremonies that were performed in private or whose meaning was known only to the initiated, e. g., the Eleusinian rites, Phallic worship. In the language of the e.arly Christians the mysteries were those religious teachings that were carefully guarded from the knowledge of the profane (.see Discipline of the .Secret).

Notion of Mystery in Scripture and in The- ology. — The Old-Testament versions use the word livffT'/ipioi' as an equivalent for the Hebrew word sod, "secret" (Prov., x.\, 19; Judith, ii, 2; Ecclus., xxii, 27; II Mach., xiii, 21). In the New Testament the word mystery is applied ordinarily to the sublime revelation of the Gospel (Matt., xiii, 11; Col., ii, 2; I Tim., iii, 9; I Cor., xv, 51), and to the Incarnation and life of the Saviour and His manifestation by the preaching of the Apostles (Rom., xvi, 25; Eph., iii, 4; vi, 19; Col., i, 26; iv, 3). In conformity with the usage of the inspired writers of the New Testament,


theologians give the name mystery to revealed truths that surpass the powers of natural reason. Mystery, therefore, in its strict thcohinical sense is not .synonymous with the incoinpn'licnsible, since all that we know is incomprehensible, i. e., not adctjuately comprehensible as to its inner be- ing; nor with the unknowable, since many things merely nafurid are accidentally unknowable, on account of their inaccessibility, e. g., things that are future, remote, or hidden. In its strict sense a mystery is a supernatural truth, one that of its very nature lies above the finite intelligence. Tlieologians distinguish two classes of supernatural mysteries, the absolute or theological and the rela- tive. An absolute mystery is a truth whose ex- istence or po.ssibility could not be discovered by a creature, and whose essence (inner substantial being) can be expressed by the finite mind only in terms of analogy, e. g., the Trinity. .4 relative mystery is a truth whose innermost nature alone (e. g., many of the Divine attributes), or whose existence alone (e. g., the positive ceremonial precepts of the Old Law), exceeds the natural knowing power of the creature.

C.'VTHOLic Doctrine. — The existence of theologi- cal mysteries is a doctrine of Catholic faith defined by the Vatican Council, which declares: "If any one say that in Divine Revelation there are contained no mysteries properly so called {rcra el proprie dicta mysteria), but that through reason rightly developed [per rationcm rile excultam) all the dogmas of faith can be understood and demonstrated from natural principles: let him be anathema" (Sess. Ill, De fide et ratione, can. i). This teaching is clearly explained in Scripture. The principal proof text, which was cited in part by the Vatican Council, is I Cor., ii. Shorter passages are especially Eph., iii, 4-9; Col., i, 26-27; Matt., xi, 25-27; John, i, 17-18. These texts speak of a mystery of God, which only infinite wisdom can understand, namely, the designs of Divine Providence and the inner life of the Godhead (see also Wisdom, ix, 16-17; Rom., xi, 33-36). Tradition abounds with testimonies that support this teaching. In the Brief "Gravissimas Inter" (Den- zinger, "Enchiridion", ed. Bannwart, nn. 1666-74), Pius IX defends the doctrine of supernatural mystery by many citations from the works of the Fathers. Numerous other patristic texts that bear on the same question are quoted and explained in Kleutgen's "Die Theologie der Vorzeit", II, 75 sq.; V, 220 sq.; and in .Schiizler's "Neue Untersuchungen iiber das Dogma von der Gnade" (Mainz, 1867), 466 sq. The manifold excellence of Christian revelation offers many theological arguments for the existence of supernat- ural mysteries (cf. Scheeben, "Dogmatik", 1,24).

Reason and Supernatural Mystery. — (1) Er- rors. — The existence of supernatural mysteries is denied by Rationalists and semi-Rationalists. Ration- alists object that mysteries are degrading to reason. Their favourite argument is based on the princi- ple that no medium exists between the reasonable and the unreasonable, from which they conclude that the mysterious is opposed to reason (Bayle, Pfleiderer). This argumentation is fallacious, since it confounds incomprehensibility with inconceivable- ness, superiority to reason with contradiction. The mind of a creature cannot, indeed, grasp the inner nature of the mysterious truth, but it can express that truth by analogies; it cannot fully understand the coherence and agreement of all that is contained in a mystery of faith, but it can refute successfully the objections which would make a mystery consist of mutually repugnant elements. Rationalists fur- ther object that the revelation of mysteries would be useless, since it is the nature of reason to ac- cept only the evident (Toland), and since the knowl- edge of the incomprehensible can have no influ- ence on the moral life of mankind (Kant). To